The tragic deaths of Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney in the MH17 air disaster will be marked at the club’s games against Sydney FC in Dunedin on Tuesday and Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on July 26.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome said the club’s thoughts were with the supporters’ families and everyone connected with the English Premier League club, players, fans, staff and owners as well as the families of everyone on the crashed aircraft.
There are all sorts of awful stories about victims of the terrorist attack on MH17. But this one struck us as especially poignant. That's because John Alder was not your average football supporter; read on:
“It is terrible that this should happen when John and Liam were setting out on an exciting adventure to support the club they loved,” Dome said.
“I believe John has only missed one Newcastle United game since 1973 and he was coming all this way to keep that remarkable record intact.”
Dome said both teams would wear black armbands at Newcastle’s games in New Zealand, and that the club was looking at other ways for those at the games to pay their respects.
To have seen every match that your side has played, bar one, over a period of 41 years is dedication on an incredible level. But his dedication to Newcastle United has cost him and his friend their lives.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. But when Newcastle United plays its matches in New Zealand this week, we'll have a special prayer for John Alder and Liam Sweeney and their grieving families and friends. Arohanui John and Liam.